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Vermont's Own Legacy: 60 Years of WCAX, Part 3 - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Vermont's Own Legacy: 60 Years of WCAX, Part 3

Vermont's Own Legacy: 60 Years of WCAX, Part 3

The exciting and emotional story of Vermont's first television station is told through candid interviews, rare archival footage and photos. Learn the unique story of WCAX; from its humble roots as a small newspaper and radio company, to the challenge of building a transmitter on Vermont's highest peak. Find out what it has taken to remain successful as one of the last remaining local, family-owned TV stations in America.

TRANSCRIPT:

>> AND THEN MARSELIS TAKES OVER, AND HE BECOMES AN INSTITUTION.

>> HE HAD HIS WAY HE WANTED TO DO THINGS WHEN HE TOOK OVER AS NEWS DIRECTOR, BUT, YEAH, I THINK HE WAS SHAPED BY THE PEOPLE HE WORKED AROUND.

HOW CAN YOU NOT BE?

MARSELIS TRAINED UNDER MICKEY FOR YEARS, SO HE PICKED UP A LOT OF THE GOOD HABITS.

>> HE'D COME UP THROUGH THE RANKS.

HE'D BEEN A REPORTER, A PRETTY GOOD ONE, TOO.

>> I THINK PEOPLE TRUSTED MARSELIS WHEN HE REPORTED THE NEWS.

>> IT WAS AN OPPORTUNITY WHEN I TOOK OVER IN OCTOBER OF '84 TO SORT OF CHANGE HOW WE WERE DOING THINGS.

>> MARSELIS HAD A DIFFERENT LOOK ABOUT HIM, A DIFFERENT WAY OF DOING HIS PRESENTATION THAN WHAT HAD COME BEFORE, AND IT WAS AGAIN A REFLECTION, A MIRROR OF WHAT VERMONT WAS BECOMING.

>> RICHARD GALLIGHER WAS A POLITICAL REPORTER.

HE LOVED POLITICS.

EVERY DAY WE WERE LEADING WITH GOVERNOR STALLING SAID TODAY, GOVERNOR STALLING DID THIS TODAY.

>> SO HE BECAME EVEN MORE OF N INSTITUTION THAN MICKEY HAD BEEN.

HE BECAME SOMETHING THAT A LOT OF VERMONTERS I THINK DIDN'T FEEL THEIR DAY WAS COMPLETE UNLESS THEY TURNED ON CHANNEL 3 AND SAW HIM ON CHANNEL 3 AND ALL WAS RIGHT WITH THE WORLD.

>> WCAX HAS A COMMITMENT TO COVERING LOCAL ISSUES, LIKE THE BUY -- BICENTENNIAL.

I MEAN, WHAT A PROJECT.

>> IT WAS AN OPPORTUNITY TO LOOK AT THE PAST, WHERE IT WAS IN THE PRESENT AND LOOK TO THE FUTURE.

>> I PERSONALLY LEARNED SO MUCH ABOUT VERMONT IN THAT BICENTENNIAL PROJECT.

IT WAS 14 MONTHS LONG.

>> WE SHOT 1220 MINUTE FIELD TAPES.

WE DID 73 HOURS OF LIVE BROADCAST.

IF WE HAD KNOWN WHAT WE WERE GOING TO GET INTO, WE NEVER WOULD HAVE DONE IT.

>> FOR A LOCAL STATION, TO DO SOMETHING LIKE THAT FOR A DAILY NEWS BROADCAST, THAT'S VERY UNIQUE.

>> THERE WERE ACTUALLY MEETINGS I WAS TOLD ABOUT LATER IN THE SUMMER TO TRY TO SCALE BACK THE SCOPE OF THE PROJECT, BUT MR. MARTIN SAID NO, THIS IS AN INVESTMENT IN THIS PLACE THAT WE COVER.

>> YOU TALK ABOUT PUBLIC SERVICE.

THAT'S A HELL OF A PUBLIC SERVICE.

>> WE LOOKED AT IT AND SAID, THAT'S VERMONT.

THAT'S WHAT NEEDS TO BE TOLD.

WE'LL TELL IT.

>> BUT AS TIMES CHANGED, SO DID CHANNEL 3.

THE FACES PEOPLE GREW UP WITH WERE REPLACED BY NEW ONES.

AND WCAX WOULD HAVE TO FIND NEW WAYS TO TELL VERMONT'S STORIES.

>> THE STATION IS CHANGING WITH THE TIMES WITH PEOPLE CHANGING AND TECHNOLOGY CHANGING.

YOU HAVE TO.

>> WE'RE SURROUNDED BY CORPORATE-OWNED STATIONS AND CORPORATE-OWNED MEDIA THAT HAVE A LOT BIGGER RESOURCES THAN WE DO, AND IT'S A DAILY FIGHT JUST TO KEEP GOING.

>> THIS IS A TOUGH TIME FOR BROADCASTING.

OVER THE RECENT DECADES, WE'VE SEEN THE DEMISE ESPECIALLY OF LOCAL RADIO.

>> UNFORTUNATELY, I THINK WE'RE TURNING OVER FASTER THESE DAYS, AND IT'S TOUGH.

IT'S TOUGH.

>> IN 2008, RECESSION HIT AMERICA, AND LIKE MANY LOCAL BUSINESS, WCAX FELT ITS IMPACT.

>> IT HIT EVERYONE REALLY, REALLY, REALLY HARD, AND YOU KNOW, AS A MEDIA COMPANY, WE WESTERN IMMUNE TO THAT.

>> WE HAD LAYOFFS HERE FOR THE FIRST TIME IN THE HISTORY OF THE STATION.

>> THE COMPANY REGRETS THESE LAYOFFS BUT FELT THEY WERE UNAVOIDABLE IN THE CURRENT ECONOMIC CLIENT.

OUT OF RESPECT FOR THEIR PRIVACY, WE ARE NOT IDENTIFYING THOSE WHO WERE DIRECTLY AFFECTED, BUT WE SHALL MISS THEM, AND WE WISH THEM ALL THE BEST OF LUCK.

>> PETER AND ALEX MADE A POINT OF BEING UPFRONT WITH PEOPLE, AND YOU CAN SEE -- SORRY.

YOU CAN SEE HOW DIFFICULT IT WAS.

>> AND I THINK IT WAS A MAJOR REALITY CHECK FOR EVERYONE WHO WORKED HERE.

>> THAT MADE US HAVE TO RETHINK WHERE WE WERE, STAYING STAGNANT, BEING WHAT WE HAVE BEEN FOR 50, 60 YEARS WASN'T GOING TO BE ENOUGH.

>> THE NATURE OF MEDIA IS CLEARLY CHANGING.

>> THERE ARE DEFINITELY CHANGES OVER TIME.

TECHNOLOGY IS ONE OF THE THINGS THAT REALLY PUSHES CHANGE.

>> AND LOOK AT WHAT WE'VE DONE, HOW WE'VE EXPANDED INTO SOCIAL MEDIA AND THE WEB.

AND IT JUST SHOWS WE'RE REACHING SO MANY MORE PEOPLE AS A RESULT.

>> SO YOU TRY TO KEEP THOSE CORE JOURNALISTIC GOALS WHILE ADAPTING TO THE EVER-CHANGING TECHNOLOGY.

MAYBE THE LAST THREE OR FOUR YEARS HAS BEEN ONE OF THE MOST TUMULTUOUS TIMES IN THE CHANNEL 3 NEWS DEPARTMENT, BUT AT ITS CORE, WE'RE STILL DOING THE SAME THING, AND I THINK PEOPLE STILL TRUST IN US.

>> I THINK IT IS CHANGING.

THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT CHANNEL 3 HAS CHANGED WITH IT.

>> AS I TELL MY STUDENTS, IT'S NEVER THE TECHNOLOGY.

IT'S THE PEOPLE WORKING THE TECHNOLOGY.

THE IMPORTANT THING IS, CAN YOU WRITE?

TELL THE STORIES THAT ARE IMPORTANT TO PEOPLE IN THIS AREA.

>> THE RESEARCH IS STILL EXISTING AFTER ALL OF THESE YEARS.

PEOPLE KNOW THERE IS A LOCAL CONNECTION TO IT.

>> LOCALLY AND FAMILY-OWNED STATION, THE DECISIONS ARE MADE RIGHT HERE.

>> FAMILY OWNED IS REALLY IMPORTANT.

>> WE COME FROM THIS COMMUNITY.

WE ARE YOU, THE FABRIC OF WHAT REALLY MAKES CHANNEL 3 WORKS IS THEY KNOW WHERE THOSE KIND OF STORIES ARE.

>> WE DON'T HAVE CORPORATIONS TELLING US WHAT TO COVER, WHEN TO COVER, HOW TO LOOK, WHAT STORIES MATTER.

WE KNOW WHAT STORIES MATTER.

WE LIVE HERE.

MANY OF US GREW UP HERE.

>> EVERYBODY THAT MAKES THE DECISIONS IS RIGHT HERE IN VERMONT AND KNOWS WHAT'S IMPORTANT TO US AND TO EVERYBODY IN THE COMMUNITY.

>> A VERMONT STATION, IT'S RUN BY VERMONTERS, PEOPLE WHO LIVE HERE.

IF YOU THINK ABOUT IT, BUY VERMONT FIRST, BEFORE IT BECAME COOL, WE WERE DOING IT.

>> IT'S SPEAKING TO US ABOUT OURSELVES AND HOW WE'RE SEEN, AND THAT'S DREADFULLY IMPORTANT.

>> THAT IDEA OF TAKING AN ISSUE AND LOOKING AT IT FROM ALL SIDES WAS CRITICAL TO RED MARTIN.

IT'S STILL CRID -- CRITICAL IN THE NEWSROOM TODAY.

>> THIS IS A STATION THAT'S OWNED BY A MAN AND HIS FAMILY.

>> AS LONG AS THEY KEEP UP THE JOURNALISM AND REMEMBER THIS IS WHAT GOT YOU HERE, THIS IS WHAT'S GOING TO BRING YOU INTO THE FUTURE.

>> THE STORY OF VERMONT IS TOLD WELL AT THAT SHOP AT THIS POINT, BECAUSE OF THE MARTINS, BECAUSE OF ALL THE PEOPLE THAT HAVE COME THROUGH IN THE LAST 60 YEARS.

>> IT HAS STAYED A FAMILY AFFAIR FOREVER, FROM 60 YEARS, AND THAT'S UNIQUE.



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